The Romanticism of Being Unashamedly and Shamelessly Liberal

There is a blogging website called Tumblr that is overpopulated with young, liberal hipsters. There are some conservatives there, of course, but the proportionality of liberals and conservatives is roughly that of a small restaurant filled with conservative patrons in a city such as San Francisco.

Most of the blogs are centered around graphic design, photography, fashion, and hipster culture, but of the politically oriented blogs, there are quite a few that are titled things like “Shameless Liberal” or “Unabashedly Liberal.” A common description of these websites on their “About” pages runs along the lines of “I’m far left-wing and not afraid to say it” and things to that effect.

I find that to be hilarious.

Why would liberals feel shame at their left-wingery? Popular culture encourages extreme liberalism. Liberalism would surround us but for the grace of (most of the time) Fox News, talk radio, and an every-increasing number of blogs and websites. Other than that, it’s inescapable.

The only political viewpoint that popular culture does try to make adherents feel shame for following is conservatism. In every Emmy Award-winning series there is a representation of conservatism as strange and evil and liberalism as normal and benevolent. Same goes for movies, magazines, newspapers, news networks. This, in spite of the fact that 42 percent of Americans identify as conservative while only 21 percent identify as liberal.

So why do young liberals say they are unashamed of their liberalism when all of the major media outlets tell them that liberalism is all that is right with America?

Romanticism. The same driving force behind the 1960s flower-child era.

Liberals like to feel like they are victims of “the man” despite the fact that they are “the man.” Liberals like conflict. We see this in the Occupy Wall Street protests that began last summer and have now all but fizzled. How else to explain why riot police always need to be called any time liberals gather in large numbers?

Liberals gather on the National Mall in Washington. No one stops them. There’s no conflict. This upsets liberals, so they create the conflict they so desperately need to feel. It further helps them feel like victims, and feelings are what liberals are about. Each liberal causing a scene and disturbing the peace hopes to be the subject of the next iconic photograph to appear on the cover of Time Magazine and at the top of each blog the world over. They want to “feel” relevant.

On Tumblr, there is no conflict for liberals to feed on because everybody on the site is either very liberal or extremely liberal, with maybe 400 conservatives total. So what’s a liberal to do when he or she is thirsty for conflict but with no way to quench it? Pretend there is a conflict. Pretend he’s a victim of a mainstream shaming of his beliefs.

“Unashamedly liberal”? Of course you’re not ashamed of it! How can you be ashamed of something for which popular culture rewards you?